I buy and sell domains for fun and profit. I stay away from trademark issues and intentional cybersquatting by focusing on rather generic names that may find a run in popular culture or unique names that could be highly brandable. From yesterday, a typical conversation on potential buyers approaching me with the names and the domain in question changed for privacy’s sake:
I’m willing to offer you $50 for this domain. I’m a graphic designer and would like to use it to build a portfolio of my work.
Note: This domain has a landing page with an asking price of $2500 – derived from my own formula. For comparison, Network Solutions’ Certified Offer Service pegs it in the range of $7525 – $10025. My Response:
Subject: Re: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com
Sorry, $2000 (US) is as low as I can go on xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com.
I’m a nice guy, a $500 discount off the bat just to start the negotiation process. The response:
Subject: Re: Re: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com
That’s absurd. Unless you can show me some traffic stats from a reputable online traffic monitoring source that this domain is getting a lot of natural traffic each day then that price tag is completely over valued. Yes it’s a great name but domain value is based strictly on natural traffic.
If you’re interested I’d be willing to offer you $350. I’m making this same offer to two other domains I’m considering for my online portfolio. If you’re interested in selling it please contact me as soon as possible.
First, don’t tell me it is absurd. I’ve has several four and five figure sales in 2006. Second, don’t contradict your statements on a domain’s value by then raising your offer. Obviously they agree that the domain in question does have some marketability (as well as the other 15-20 visitors the domain gets daily – mostly from type-in traffic) or they wouldn’t have upped their offer by $300. Their counteroffer is usually my action point; if they raise their offer by at least as much as I’ve conceded initially, 90% of the time we’ll eventually reach a deal. If not, the odds of deal are less than 5% based on my past experience.
Usually I also own the .org and/or the .net version of the .com names that I publicly I have listed for sale. These come in handy for bargaining or to throw in gratis as the conclusion of a sale. In this case I threw the .org of this particular name out there at his offer price:
Subject: Re: Re: Re: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com
Absurd? Perhaps; if one values a name solely on natural traffic –
which I do not.
I’d be willing to sell you xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.ORG for $350 (US), but my
price for xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.COM remains firm at $2000 (US).
Good luck with your search.
It has now been 36 hours since my last email without a response. Negotiations are more than likely over and they have moved on. I’ll probably be chastised from those that see me as walking away from about a $250 profit (based on the price I bought it and renewal fees since) but for the $8 per year renewal I still have a few years before the cost of ownership exceeds the lowest price I’d let it go for.